CraftBeerMonger.com is going on hiatus, effective immediately.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, I began a few personal improvement projects that have taken up more of my time than I’d anticipated. As a result, I no longer have the time to properly keep up with posting regularly on this site. I am retaining the domain name of CraftBeerMonger.com, for when I’m ready to reactivate the site but, in early August, CraftBeerMonger.com will go dark.
I will continue to post as Craft Beer Monger on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, sharing information about industry news and events, but will cease posting new articles here on this site. Thank you to my loyal readers/followers for sticking with me these past several years. Hopefully, by sometime in 2022, this site will return (possibly in a new format).
I enjoy all different styles of craft beer: Stouts, Farmhouse Ales and Saisons, Belgian Ales, Sour Ales, Pilsners, Lagers, Barleywines, and more, but I can’t deny that I drink more IPAs than any other style. I’m a serious hophead and I own it proudly.
Over the years, I’ve also discovered that I tend to enjoy stronger (higher ABV) IPAs the most – and it’s not because I’m trying to get drunk faster. The alcohol percentage in any beer can have a definite impact on its mouthfeel and body, changing the flavor from a similar beer that may have a lower ABV. That’s why the vast majority of my favorite IPAs are double IPA and triple IPAs, and that’s why I’m excited to announce that Sierra Nevada Brewing Company is bringing back their delicious, super hoppy triple IPA: Hoptimum.
Since they first opened their doors back in January of 2020, Fair Isle Brewing quickly gained a well earned reputation for making some of the very best Saisons and Farmhouse Ales in Seattle. On my very first visit last January, I was extremely impressed with the quality of every single beer I tried. Unlike some other new breweries, there was no learning curve here. Fair Isle opened their doors knowing what they were doing.
If you’re a fan of Saisons/Farmhouse Ales and you still haven’t tried any beers from Fair Isle, you’re truly missing out. As the weather warms up out there, it’s the perfect time for them to re-release a summer favorite: Claude.
As we finally begin to slowly emerge from the insanity of the past year thanks (Ha!) to COVID-19, many local breweries are beginning to expand their hours again. I know they’re all looking forward to seeing more of us visit their taprooms for some much needed social time (sill responsibly distanced, of course), and Lowercase Brewing Company is ready.
With Spring here and Summer just around the corner, it’s definitely IPA season and Firestone Walker Brewing Company continues to expand their offerings with their latest release: Nectaron IPA, available exclusively in their “Crafted Thru Hops” IPA mixed pack.
Many of you probably know about Yonder Cider. However, if you haven’t been following the news you may not be aware that Yonder Cider was recently forced to close their carry-out taproom in Seattle’s Greenwood neighborhood due to a series of (in my opinion, unfounded) complaints form ONE anonymous and apparently disgruntled neighbor. It was sad and, frankly, maddening to see the city allow a single person’s unverified complaints to shut down a struggling small business with their bogus claims.
Thanks to a new partnership with Bale Breaker Brewing Company, however, Yonder will be back with a vengeance. That’s because Bale Breaker & Yonder have just announced that they will be opening a joint taproom in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood by this Summer. They will be moving into the space formerly occupied by the now closed Populuxe Brewing Company (RIP, Populuxe).
How do you prefer your Stouts? Do you like them with hazelnuts, or cocoa, or coffee, or vanilla, or any number of other possible adjuncts? Or are you a Stout purist, who prefers their Stouts have no adjuncts whatsoever? Personally, I’m right in the middle. I love a good, pure, basic Stout, but I also enjoy many of the Stouts with various adjuncts added. Coffee is probably one of my favorites.
Hellbent Brewing Company in Lake City has a few Stouts under their belt. Their most well known is probably their Big Island Toasted Coconut Stout. Now, Hellbent is preparing to release their next Stout; a collaboration with Boon Boona Coffee Company out of Renton. It arrives this Thursday, February 25th.
Celebrating brewery anniversaries in the time of COVID19 feels a bit sad. I’ve celebrated quite a few this year, in properly socially-distanced form, but it just doesn’t feel the same. Sure, we can all still do what’s necessary to help support our favorite craft breweries during this difficult time, but not being able to attend a big party/gathering, nor any other type of festivals or craft beer events this year, is really starting to wear on me.
Counterbalance Brewing Company in Georgetown understand this. I know they’d love to have a great big party to celebrate, but that wouldn’t be safe or responsible. Instead, they’ve put together a 3-day event with limited outdoor seating (make your reservations now!), food trucks, and 3 new beer releases and a few special releases from their cellar.
I enjoy pretty much all styles of craft beer – everything from a light crisp Pilsner, to wonderful complex Saisons and Wild Ales, Old World Ales and more. I know I tend to drink a lot of IPAs (who doesn’t?), but I think my true favorites are really barrel-aged Stouts, Porters and Barleywines. There’s just something about their rich flavors and complex character that really appeals to me.
With that in mind, it’s time to get ready for Stout Month at Fort George Brewery in Astoria, Oregon. That means a whole lot of big, bold, barrel-aged goodness, which makes me very happy. Sadly, there will be no Festival of the Dark Arts this year, thanks to COVID, but Fort George has put together a great lineup of beers that will be available for shipping within Oregon and Washington.
What a year it’s been. We’ve had to deal with political madness, various ongoing marches and protests across the nation, mask mandates and lockdowns that have hurt and even destroyed so many businesses and forced so many onto unemployment, sports teams playing without any fans in the stands, and more. Thank God for beer, right? It provides at least a bit of joy in these dark and uncertain times.
As I’m sure most of you know, during this latest lockdown, I encourage all of my readers to do their part in supporting our local craft breweries, craft bottle shops and craft beer bars (at least those who are able to still serve right now because they have outdoor seating). They need our help to survive and we want them to still be around when things finally get back to normal – or whatever the new normal will be. Just be sure to always wear your mask and practice proper social distancing when picking up your beverages from your favorite places.